Somewhat active on SR2; Work, school, and flying dictate when I can and can't work on SR2 or SP. But my main priority with SR2 at the moment is to complete the first "base" model of my Endeavor launch system, which is a 2-stage rapid-reusable rocketplane launch system powered by a x1 Atmos kerolox rocket engine that has an absolute max payload of 1 ton (or 1,000KG) and can get a payload into an orbit as high as 2,000KM with lighter payloads and less fuel reservations on the 1st stage for a boostback burn. The launch system is intended to be launched both vertically from a ground (or sea) launch site, or horizontally via air launching from a mothership aircraft, ideally a Boeing 747-400. The initial model will be the vertical launch "1A" version, and will have a launch price of $6M for a re-used Endeavor, and $9M for a brand new Endeavor. The 2nd stage is also reusable depending on the mission, and larger volume payloads can utilize an "XL" fairing.
The combination of a vehicle designed for an extremely high rate of re-usability, coupled with a small fleet of ready-to-fly vehicles per launch site, allows for the ability to sustain an insanely high number of on-demand, flexible launches for potential customers.
The 2nd stage of the Endeavor is more than just a 2nd stage. With a complete RCS thruster maneuvering system, the 2nd stage is capable of being the delivery vehicle, or "space tug" that fully delivers payloads to their destination orbits. Under certain missions and configurations, the 2nd stage is even reusable, and can use its thrusters to de-orbit and re-enter the atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, it deploys a parawing for aerial helicopter recovery of the 2nd stage. Since its coming from an orbit, the 2nd stage even has the ability to be recovered over the launch site itself, greatly enhancing turn-around times between launches.
Rainier Aerospace is a relatively small aerospace company with ambitious plans for the future of space. Its Endeavor rocketplane design is a highly competitive launch vehicle for smallsat customers that is designed with low-cost, rapid-reuse in mind. The carbon-fiber construction, flight profile, and ability to make a horizontal landing on a runway, or deploy a parawing for aerial helicopter recovery, brings an incredibly high rate of reuse out of an Endeavor airframe before it needs extensive refurbishing. The Endeavor is only the beginning, hence the name, as Rainier Aerospace not only has bigger launch vehicles in mind for the future, but greater space plans including space-based solar powerplants that can beam energy to Earth, relay satellites, or transit vessels, and commercial centrifugal spin stations with artificial gravity to make the high frontier accessible for everyone without extensive physical training or harmful microgravity effects on the human body.
A new challenger is approaching...
- Commercial Low-Cost Rapid-Reuse Launch Vehicles
- Space-Based Solar Power Stations
- Commercial Centrifugal Spin Stations